The Murder at Buskirk’s Bridge, Part 6.
The Preliminary Hearing at Salem
Nehemiah Williams and Mrs. Polly Quackenbush Testify
Nehemiah Williams Sworn: I live within two rods of where deceased lived and probably thirty rods from Baldwins; I was in White Creek on Thursday, I staid all night there; I had a conversation with Baldwin on Wednesday night last; we talked in relation to his suit with Lansing, of its management; he said deceased had sworn falsely against him; he may have said it was a d–d lie; he said deceased wouldn’t gain anything by it; he said that he had never misused deceased and that deceased should not misuse him; that he would be sorry for it; he asked me if I had been subpoenaed; I told him I should go away; he said if I wanted to go he would carry me away on Sunday night. In all talks I have had with Baldwin, he has invariably complained of the testimony of McCarthy; he told me that I had better go away; he said McCarthy had better look out.
Cross-Examined: Mr. Baldwin and Lansing are hostile to each other, the difficulty arose from a quarrel about some geese; he told me he could or should get McCarthy indicted; I went before the grand jury and testified against Baldwin; I have felt in danger for so doing; the reason I wanted to get away was that I feared Mr. Baldwin would injure me in some way; I went occasionally to Baldwin’s house to spend an evening, have been there since the suit; Mrs. Baldwin ordered my grandson to leave her place because he had been a liar and had sworn false; Mr. Baldwin said the poor cusses had all sworn false for a drink of rum.
Direct Resumed: Baldwin said that all McCarthy swore to was false, that he could get him indicted; I have heard McCarthy say that he did not pretend to go to Baldwin’s; that Mrs. Baldwin once took a butcher knife and said she would be the death of him if he entered her house; that he did not go there as he did not want to be butchered.
Mrs. Polly Quackenbush Sworn: I live but a little ways from McCarthy’s; Baldwin is our nearest neighbor; I have conversed with Baldwin; I have heard him say McCarthy had given a false oath; there is a crossing over the creek near our house; I heard someone walk by that night, they passed our door, it was after late bed time; I heard the report of a gun and walking a little time after; there was walking up in the road; they were walking fast and appeared to be more than one; they passed my door just after I heard the gun; to go from McCarthy’s to Baldwin’s they would go by my door.
Cross-Examined: Baldwin’s house is close to mine; I can hear their door when it opens and shuts; they were hurried steps I heard; I did not hear Baldwin’s door; I cannot hear their gate; our family and Baldwin’s are on good terms.
Direct Resumed: I don’t think I could have heard Baldwin’s door had it been opened that night.